Wausau Flying Service

Wausau’s Downtown Airport supports economy, MedEvac crew

1:46 AM, Sep. 21, 2011 |
Written by Katherine Krueger

WAUSAU — In an economic landscape that demands businesses stay quick, nimble and ahead of competitors, it helps if a company can soar above the competition.
That’s where Wausau Flying Service comes in.
The company, which operates out of the Wausau Downtown Airport, serves as a connection point for local businesses that fly people and goods in and out of the city every day.
The business also trains Wausau’s next generation of pilots, ensuring that experts always are available to meet both business and recreational needs.

Serving the city

To provide the manpower necessary to operate and manage the airport, the company maintains two contracts with the city of Wausau, airport manager John Chmiel said.
Duties encompassed in these agreements range from making sure the grass is mowed and the snow is plowed to serving as a liaison for bodies including the tenants of rented storage hangars, the city and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Although there is no airline service at the Wausau Downtown Airport, Chmiel said the majority of his business comes from clients looking to use general aviation to better suit their transportation needs.
“It’s a common misconception that we are a recreation facility for the rich,” he said. “The majority of what we do has to do with local companies using aviation to facilitate what they do and people coming to visit businesses in Wausau.”

Saving lives

In addition to serving as an “aerial off-ramp” that ushers new business into the community, the business has maintained a partnership with Aspirus MedEvac, to get medical attention for patients in critical condition as quickly as possible.
Jason Keffeler, the program’s director, said a crew of three is ready to respond 24 hours a day from its base at the airport to transport patients and provide a high level of care while in the air.
Transferring the helicopter’s headquarters to the airport from the hospital nearly three years ago has proved worthwhile, he said.
“It makes the response time quicker out in the communities,” Keffeler said. “It allows us a place to be ready 24 hours a day.”

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